The City of Jacksonville has built a recreational trail on the north side of Lake Jacksonville. The Friends of the Trails Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation invites the community to learn and love the path through new Sunday Strolls.

Come on out to Lake Jacksonville in the evening on the first Sunday of each month. The first gathering will be between 5-7pm Sunday May 5. What time should future Sunday Strolls be? See poll at end of post …

Park in the boat launch lot. Walk, run, or ride – bring the whole family. No official start. The goal is simply to have a concentration of people on a promenade to encourage interaction on the recreational trail.

Restroom facilities located at concession building near the boat dock.

Walkers have right of way. Bicycles yield to people on foot. Campers with permit can ride golf carts, and they must yield to people walking, running or biking.


Read more about the City of Jacksonville’s grant application to complete the final stage of the recreational trail (Exhibit F (partial), G+H in map above).




In case you’re here wondering about Town Brook smelt sightings … the real link to sign the City of Jacksonville’s petition to the IDNR for the Lake Jacksonville Pedestrian and Bike Path grant is

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Lake Jacksonville Pedestrian & Bike Path (under construction, Feb. 2019).

Help the City of Jacksonville beef up its application for a state grant to complete the Lake Jacksonville Pedestrian and Bike Path. The City of Jacksonville voted unanimously to apply for a state grant via the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for the final phase of the Lake Jacksonville Recreational Trail. The grant will cover 80% of the cost. You can help improve our chances of landing the state grant by signing on now, for the deadline is in the 2nd week of March.

Good: Sign online petition

Better: Email a note stating “I support the City of Jacksonville’s effort to use a IDNR RTP Grant to complete a Lake Jacksonville Pedestrian and Bike Path” to Feel free to expand with information about your interest in the lake, nature, community, health, and the like. Bonus if you can get your group or company to send a letter, saying how the trail could benefit the community.

Best: Recruit people to do the above, and/or download a petition and get people to sign. Scan and send to

Send email, mail or drop off by Monday March 11 to or Greg Hillis, Benton & Associates, 1970 W Lafayette Ave, Jacksonville, IL 62650.

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Lake Jacksonville Pedestrian & Bike Path (under construction, Feb. 2019).

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The Bunny Bash includes photos with the Easter Bunny by Warmowski Photography for an additional $15 donation. All funds go to add-ons for the Jacksonville PetSafe Dog Park.

Bring your pup(s) and join in the Bark Park Bunny Bash at the Jacksonville PetSafe Dog Park starting 1pm Sunday, April 14th. Easter egg (tennis ball) hunt, prizes, pictures with the Easter Bunny, pet costume contest, and a 50/50 raffle. Find the special ball and receive a prize. $5 donation per pup.

Photos with the Easter Bunny sponsored by Warmowski Photography for an additional $15 donation to the Bark Park Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation. Big thanks to Clint from C&A Construction for fitting into the bunny suit. See photos from previous years 201820172016.

Rain or shine, the show will go on.

We ask that dogs be kept on their leash during the egg hunt. Off-leash fun within the park will resume afterwards.

Proceeds from this event, as well as all our events, will go towards upgrades to the park. The Bark Park Initiative is a committee of the Jacksonville Park Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit. See event on Facebook for more details and updates.

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Checking tennis ball picked up at Jacksonville PetSafe Dog park at 2018 Bunny Bash.

Thanks to BLH Computers, you can recycle your Christmas tree lights and help the Jacksonville Park Foundation!

Now through January 14 drop off your old Christmas lights in the box at the entrance to County Market. Any funds raised from the recycling project will go to support our projects including the Bark Park Initiative, Protect the Melon! and the Jacksonville Children’s Community Gardening Initiative.

If you have any other electronics (as well as Christmas lights), you may drop them off at BLH Computers at 832 S. Main Street (across the street from Rexx Battery). Hours are 8-6 Monday-Friday and 10-6 Saturday. You can learn what BLH accepts for recycling here.

Thanks to County Market and BLH! You may also donate funds directly. Jacksonville Park Foundation Health • Recreation • Families

Promoting recreation, physical activity, and community-wide health by supporting efforts to change the social and physical environment of the Jacksonville community. 

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Thanks to Butch Wood and Charlie’s 19th Hole, money from his annual fundraiser will go to putting in water features at the Jacksonville PetSafe Dog Park. Dubbed Max’s Memorial Golf Outing & Auction, the event will start noon Saturday June 10 at The Links in Jacksonville.

GOLF – Sign up by calling Butch 217.473.7428 or Keith 217.473.2236. $60 per person, 4 person scramble. Limit 36 teams. $100 deposit, rest due at event. Noon tee time.

AUCTION/PARTY- Everyone’s invited in the evening for food, fun and to bid on fantastic auction items starting at approximately 5:30. Check the event page to see what’ll be up for bid. If you’d like to contribute auction items or find out how you can help, message the Bark Park Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation via Facebook.

Event info easily accessible at

Please help in our goal to bring water features (fountains, dog wash, dog spray) to the dog park.
  • Get the word out to golfers via
  • Help us find auction items (form).
  • Recruit people to come to auction.
  • Come to auction.
The Bark Park Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.





gloves hanging to dry

Thanks to Nicole Riley and Jess Gale for starting the Jacksonville Community Gardening Initiative. They will be planting a garden on land previously donated by Town & Country Bank to the Jacksonville Park Foundation, located at the corner of Chambers & Church (north of the Town Brook).

The project kicks off with two events . . .

  • Work day starting at 9 am Saturday May 20 – come get your hands dirty and break ground in our new community garden plot. We’ll be building beds, moving soil and mulch, planting, laying pathways, and preparing our compost pile and greenhouse. Bring family and friends. Everyone of all abilities is welcome. Kid friendly. This is also a good time to drop off any tools or plants you’d like to donate.
  • Pie in the Sky! Pie Social and Auction from 2-5 Saturday May 27 – come out to learn about and support the garden & enjoy pie and refreshments. Pie auction begins at 3pm. Kid-friendly activities provided. Pie donations needed.
Will you please help by liking the committee’s Facebook page, and inviting friends to like as well. Contact Nicole or Jess by messaging via the Facebook page or use the contact form at the bottom of this post.

They’re looking for pies for the fundraiser, plants/tools for the garden and people who’d like to help. You can also donate now via PayPal (indicate “garden” in second screen.)


Jacksonville Park Foundation board member Dan Coultas gets help planting sunflower seeds at the Garden in 2014.

Jacksonville Park Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

The Jacksonville Public Library has a speaker series for those interested in gardening. Here’s the remaining speakers . . .

Dragonflies 7pm June 12
For centuries dragonflies have been a source of fascination and have inspired myths across many cultures. Dr. Lawrence Zettler, Hitchcock Professor of Biology from Illinois College and illustrator of the book Dragonflies of North America, will introduce you to many unique varieties of this incredible insect and answer your questions about their habits, habitat and lifecycle.

Bats in Illinois and Around the World 7pm July 10
Dr. Bryan Arnold, Assistant Professor of Biology at Illinois College, is a behavioral ecologist who studies the social behaviors of bats. Despite their small stature, they have a huge impact on their habitat and are currently under threat. Have your questions answered and learn more about the many surprising and positive contributions bats make to the local environment.

Climate, Soil and Critters 7pm August 14
Climate change is real and happening right now. Its impacts can already be seen on a local level. Duane Friend is an Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Office who will walk you through what climate change is, how it will impact your garden and trees, what changes you can expect to see in the future and the steps you can take to combat it.

For updates check the Jacksonville Public Library web page and refer to the Butterflies, Bees, Gardens and Trees series PDF schedule.

The City of Jacksonville and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will host a household hazardous waste collection day 8am-3pm Saturday May 20 at Morgan County Fairgrounds.

Enter off Grand, and you drive through and don’t have to leave your vehicle. Acceptable waste includes (see link for full details) . . .

  • oil based paint,
  • paint thinner,
  • herbicides,
  • insecticides,
  • pesticides,
  • pool chemicals,
  • cleaning products,
  • mercury,
  • household batteries,
  • used motor oil,
  • lawn & hobby chemicals,
  • aerosol paints and pesticides,
  • and fluorescent lamp bulbs.

Agricultural chemicals, institutional wastes, explosives and fire extinguishers will not be accepted.

(Note latex paint is not hazardous – pop the lid off and let it dry then discard with regular trash.)

For further information, contact Phil McCarty, Director, Jacksonville/Morgan County Emergency at 217.479.4616 or use contact form below.



Final selection of Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts on sale now at the YMCA.

Final selection of Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts on sale now at the YMCA.

Here’s a great idea for Christmas! Get one of our Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts or t-shirts for your dog lover (or for yourself). Proceeds go towards add-ons and other planned improvements at the new Jacksonville PetSafe Bark Park.

Bark Park wear is currently hosted by the Bob Freesen YMCA – pick one up when you go to work out. Best to pay with check made out to the Jacksonville Park Foundation (cash ok, too). Or, send a message to the committee via the JaxBark Facebook page to have one dropped off at your office in Jacksonville. Here’s a list of our inventory — color is Bark Park Blue . . .

  • $25 Hoodie — Large, Small, Youth Large, Youth Medium
  • $20 Sweatshirt — Extra-Large, Small
  • $10 T-Shirt — Small

Updated 12/29 – No longer at YMCA, just available on request via the JaxBark Facebook page